Marathon of banned commercials

A screening of banned commercials was held at the Faculty of Economical Sciences (FSEGA) two nights ago.

The event was organized by ASM (Association of Marketing Students) and was presented by special guests from Qual Media: Eugen Albu and Carmen Hiticas.

This was the 6th edition of commercial screenings, and the only one dealing with banned commercials.

The event begun with a short presentation of the purposes and the characteristics of this type of advertisement. This kind of commercials is banned not only due to their explicit content, but also because they either promote an inappropriate and violent behavior, or they mock certain public personalities or even overshadow famous brand names.

In mass media the advertisers have two options to send their message: in a calm, soothing way, or in a sarcastic, even shocking one. The last one has a bigger potential of being long-term remembered by the audience, despite the fact it will (most certainly) not be found appropriate for the public.

A vast majority of these unapproved commercials submit subliminal messages. This kind of publicity started in 1957, when its initiator, James Vicary, made an experiment in a cinema, in which he managed to make the audience buy popcorn when hungry and drink Cola when thirsty, by inserting a series of short-term images, that weren’t perceived by the conscious mind, during the movie. The experiment led to confusion among people, who became scared of the possibility to be manipulated so easily.

Another case was the presidential campaign of George W. Bush from 2000, when in an electoral message, while he talked about his adversary, the word “rats” from “bureaucrats” was bolded, so that the audience associated them with those mammals.

Other commercials worth mentioning are the ones focusing on competition, such as Blackberry vs. Apple (2009), or PCs vs. MAC, the one for the famous PokerStars.com, which promoted violence under the motto of “Love your Enemies” or the semi-subliminal “Panda” commercial which tried to convince the people to buy its product in a rather brutal manner.

The event was well received by the audience, which filled the auditorium. A participant declared that “Even though we are surrounded by commercials 24/7, such an event makes the watching enjoyable. It was welcomed.” Also, about the subliminal commercials, he stated that for him, they “remain at the stage of a myth.”

Carmen Hiticas, one of the organizers, said that this was the first time she was chosen to host this event and that she was satisfied with the public’s reaction. She also mentioned that it will take a while until a similar screening of banned commercials will be held again. However, until then, we will have the chance to enjoy ourselves with another marathon, of trailers, on the 2nd of December, which will be held at Irish Music & Pub.

Photo: evenimenteincluj.ro

Diana Cristoltean and Nistor Adriana.

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